Iaith y Nefoedd is a multi-medium, Welsh-language concept album from Yr Ods, conceived alongside award-winning Welsh author Llwyd Owen.
Several years in the making, the project began when Cardiff five-piece Yr Ods approached Owen with the idea of creating a Welsh world inspired by real life cults such as Heaven’s Gate and Jonestown. Owen, a self-proclaimed “sucker for a concept album” turned Yr Ods imagined world into a short fiction book, and Yr Ods in turn created the book’s sonic counterpart. As Griff Lynch from Yr Ods explains “the laith y Nefoedd album doesn’t quite follow the book’s storyline but both exists within the same world.”
Taking its name from an old saying, that Welsh is the language of Heaven, laith y Nefoedd (trans. Language of Heaven) takes the story to a cult level with its characters on a suicide mission to reach heaven in order to speak the beloved language, a language that has been outlawed, and its speakers forced to deny their identity.
Llwyd Owen’s short novel re-interprets a familiar Welsh adage within an epic dystopian Wales – a Wales that’s rotting with hatred. In an uncertain future, freedom of thought and speech is controlled to the very end.
Yr Ods’ third album is inspired by the short novel. The pop melodies are still present, though the sound is darker than their previous works. Here Griff Lynch takes us through the album, track by track.
This track is an extract from the book novel by author Llwyd Owen.
Teimlo’n Braf (Feeling Good)
A loud song about that quiet moment before the start of a trip you’re not sure you should be on.
Ger yr Afon (Riverside)
An introduction to the world of our protagonist T Lloyd Lewis. He lives in a dystopian Cardiff where Welsh society no longer exists. Food banks have replaced the financial ones. Wild dogs gather near the castle. “1 Land 1 Language” is spray painted on the street.
The novel alternates between two time periods. In a future Wales, a secluded group of devoted Welsh speakers have survived an unspecified catastrophic event. Within this tightly controlled group, there are signs of disillusionment.
Rhyfel Oer (Cold War)
A song about preparing for the end of the world in a huge underground cave by collecting food and drink with a bunch of friends. Also a song about not being sure if you’re having a dialogue or an argument with someone.
Iaith y Nefoedd (Language of Heaven)
The old adage Iaith y Nefoedd means ‘the language of Heaven’. We thought it would be cool to turn that on it’s head, and look at the potentially poisonous connotations associated with this.
MAIR This is an extract from the novel read by the amazing Carys Eleri
Gemau Saethu (Shooting Games)
Remembering the life and the music of a city that used to exist. Remembering first dates. Seeing the horrors that became of it all.
Drwy y Bwlch (Through the gap)
A song about finding glimmer of light through a brick wall, or looking for hope in a wreckage. It’s suppose to capture that feeling of really wanting to see a way forward, and being in denial.
Rhwng Cwsg ac effro (Between sleep and awake)
Instrumental song, about experiencing amazing visions in that state between being awake and being asleep. Finding truths when you least expect it.
Popeth yn ei le (everything in it’s place)
A song that came out of a pure jam. Usually we write as individuals, but this one came naturally and was written and recorded in a day. It’s about things that help you control pain.
Beyond the Walls
If there was ever a film about the book, this would be the soundtrack to a fast paced montage. Traveling the country, preaching the gospel. A song about brainwashing people to think just like you. “Come and live with me, and live my life”.
Am y tro Olaf (for the last time)
Taking one last ride around somewhere familiar to you, before you leave forever. A dance track which we can’t wait to play live.